Budget, one of two car rental companies at the Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport, closed this month after owners Stacy and Gary Peterson decided to retire.
The Petersons will also close Port Gifts, a downtown gift shop they have owned and operated for 28 years, at the end of the month after a final sale.
“This is the year we just don’t want to do it anymore,” Stacy said. “We’re old and we’re getting older.” Both Stacy and Gary are in their 70s.
The Petersons also operate the long-term parking lot at the Kodiak Benny Benson State Airport and will continue to do so after their other businesses shut down. Previously, customers could pay for parking at the Budget counter inside the airport, but in recent days the counter has been vacant, leading to confusion among travelers about how to pay for long-term parking, which costs $5 per day.
Stacy said they intend to put up a box in the parking lot, where customers can pick up parking tags and drop off payment. However, “we’re still working it out,” she said.
With the closure of Budget, Avis will become the only vehicle rental company at the Kodiak Airport. According to Katrina Courchaine, Kodiak Manager of Avis, Avis will honor all existing Budget reservations.
“We have a lot of people come in and they’re like, ‘We had a Budget reservation — where are they?’ So we’ve been trying to make it as easy as possible,” Courchaine said, adding that Avis will match Budget rates for existing reservations.
Avis currently has 108 vehicles, compared to the 20 vehicles Budget offered in Kodiak. Courchaine said that during the summer, Avis received additional vehicles from Anchorage to meet demand, with up to 150 vehicles during the recent summer. With the loss of Budget, Avis may receive a larger influx of cars next summer to meet demand.